My father-in-law used to decry what he considered his loss of memory after a cardiac surgery, in that he noticed he could no longer do some kind of complex mathematical computations in his head. Pity. I still have use my fingers for some single-digit addition, so I’d better never have heart trouble.
My biological mother was a fabulous 1960’s stay-at-home suburban homemaker. (My beautiful stepmother was also, I just hadn’t met her yet!) Now, granted, Mom didn’t waltz around in a dress, heels, and pearls like the old black and white reruns. But she could clean and cook with the best of them.
And, wow could she sew! She made play clothes for me, and she even made beautiful formal gowns for herself.
Now play clothes were different than church clothes or school clothes back then. Play clothes were to do things you expect to get dirty in, like climbing trees. And your school clothes might even get a bit scuffed up. But church clothes, if you were fortunate enough to have them, were a bit more top shelf. Those you kept clean, generally speaking.
So this cracks me up when I read what God was preparing for the newly-delivered slaves from Egypt:
“Make sacred garments for Aaron that are glorious and beautiful.”
If you remember, Aaron was Moses’ brother, and God had appointed him to be the first installment of the high priesthood of God’s nation, Israel. This was a pretty big deal, as we can see by the expansively immaculate and expensively decorative apparel that was being prepared for the office. It included:
Fine linen cloth embroidered with gold, purple, blue and scarlet thread complemented by a matching sash,
Braided cords of pure gold attached at the shoulder
Multiple engraved gems and stones like onyx, emerald, moonstone, turquoise and amethyst, (to name a few) set in gold filigree,
A hem of gold bells and colored yarn made into pomegranates
A turban sporting an engraved gold medallion.
No offense to my mom, but this was a bit more upscale than what her old Kenmore could crank out.
Now here’s the kicker. At the dedication of this priesthood:
“Then take some of the blood from the altar and some of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron and his sons and on their garments. In this way, they and their garments will be set apart as holy.”
Are you kidding?! Can you imagine what the “skilled craftsmen (and women)” were thinking when Moses doused their beautiful work with oil and blood? (And you men, do you have any idea what it’s like trying to get oil and blood out of clothing??)
I just love this. It’s telling me that whatever I bring to God, my most beautiful craftsmanship (career, music, blogging?), my most precious possession (husband, children, reputation?), must first be covered by the blood (redemption) of Jesus to be fully serviceable, and drenched in the oil (power) of the Holy Spirit to be effective in that service. Who am I to think otherwise?
So heed a little warning—think before you commit to Christ what you consider your most prized “possession”, because it’s going to get stained.